Desperate to ink his nuclear deal with Iran, President Barack Obama allowed the National Security Agency to spy on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The deal Obama struck will ease sanctions on Iran and infuse the country with billions that could be used against the United States and Israel. Netanyahu opposed the deal, certain it would endanger the safety of his country. We hope he is wrong but respect his knowledge of the complex dynamics of the region in which he was born and has lived most of his life.

News of the spy operation was detailed Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, which confirmed the story by interviewing more than two dozen current and former U.S. intelligence and administration officials.

In addition to spying on Netanyahu, explained the report, “The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“That raised fears — an ‘Oh-s— moment,'” one senior U.S. official told the Journal, “that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.”

The story details the spy mission’s intrusions in to congressional matters involving Israel and Iran.

With or without a spy operation targeting the leader of a sacred ally and American supporters of Israel, the Iran deal is dangerous. It emboldens an avowed enemy of the United States that has pledged to annihilate Israel.

The impropriety of the spy operation was best articulated in a statement by Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, a world-renowned retired brain surgeon.

“It is truly disgraceful that the Obama administration has spied on Prime Minister Netanyahu, his colleagues and pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress,” Carson said. “Instead of focusing on deterring the Iran nuclear threat and fighting against the Mullahs who chant ‘Death to America,’ President Obama has treated Israel, our staunch, democratic ally in the Middle East, as his real enemy. Not only did he not curtail surveillance on our close friend, he has once again proven himself to be a president that our enemies need not fear and our friends cannot trust.”

As Obama approaches his last year in the White House, a more important player could emerge in this scandalous revelation: Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Just what did she know about the spy operation?

As Obama’s secretary of state while spying occurred, she may have had direct involvement or access to the intelligence. It is also possible she knew nothing. Any which way, the media need to find out. Then individuals should decide whether they care.

The public should also learn whether staunch supporters of the Iranian deal, such as Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet, knew about the spy operation.

Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East. The alliance is more than strategic. It has long been culturally advantageous and friendly, given Israel’s religious significance to American Christians and Jews. It is bad enough our president, and Colorado’s senior senator, approved such a perilous arrangement with a rogue enemy of the United States and Israel — a country that sanctions atrocities against homosexuals, Christians, Jews and women who don’t obey men. That our government snooped on a friend, in desperation to close the deal, makes the matter considerably more disturbing. With spies like us, who needs enemies?

The Gazette


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